North Whidbey Parks and Recreation District adopted a backup plan if the August levy sinks at the polls.
With the likelihood of passing the levy in the Aug. 1 election looking slimmer and slimmer, the district commissioners decided this week to go ahead and seek voter approval again in November. At this time, the commissioners said they don’t plan to make any changes in the measure.
“The reason that’s going on is we don’t know if we’re going to pass the vote coming up Aug. 1, which is the deadline to submit for the November ballot,” said Steve McCaslin, executive director of the district.
The ballot measure seeks a maintenance and operations levy of 17 cents per thousand of assessed property valuation, not to exceed 1 percent of the district’s maintenance and operations expenses during the five years of collection, 2018-23.
If the Aug. 1 levy is successful, however, North Whidbey Parks and Recreation District will scrap any plans to rerun the measure in November.
For now, however, the commissioners want to be prepared for the worst
Before the November backup plan was passed by resolution at Thursday’s North Whidbey Parks and Recreation board meeting, Commissioner Richard Fort proposed that details of the levy be changed.
In light of the current levy’s alleged dead-in-the-water status, it would make sense to decrease the asking rate from 17 to 16 cents per thousand, Fort said.
The other commissioners voted down Fort’s proposal.
Commissioner Shane Hoffmire said he is in favor of a second chance at success for the levy, but noted the election would have to be run in a much different manner.
Conventional wisdom was pointing toward the idea that, with the current levy election, “there is zero interest within the community for people wanting to step up and lead the uphill (battle),” he said.
Due to that perception, Hoffmire offered to take a larger role in communicating to North Whidbey residents the need for the passage of a parks and recreation levy.
“I really think (the levy campaign) is something that we need to deal with quickly,” Hoffmire said, “because even though maybe many of the people have already passed on the current election, November is quickly coming upon us.”